Winter comes with hard lessons. Granted, I live in Texas and don’t have to survive feet of snow and months of bone chilling cold. But I do get restless at this time of year, tired of the chill, the lack of color and birdsong in my woods. I admit to being, maybe a little, spoiled. I’ve always been impatient. Anxious for things to be just the way I want them. It’s only with middle age and uncontrollable circumstance that I have learned patience.
But it seems to be a lesson that I can’t fully grasp because every winter, every crisis, I dread the passage and pray for it to be over. I long for sunny, warm days and found feathers and sleep that comes easy .. and doesn’t leave me at 3 am channel surfing.
I am in remedial “Learning to go with the flow.101”. You’d think that living all of my almost 59 years (HOLY CRAP!), I would know by now that everything is temporary. The upside to anxious times is that they’re bookends with happier times. Times of uncertainty and fear ride shotgun with joy and calm. I’ve considered having “This, too, shall pass.” tattooed upside down at belly button level as a constant reminder. Okay, maybe I’ll just get a t-shirt instead.
If there were no storm clouds, there’d be no jaw-dropping sunsets. If there were no rainy days in winter, there would be no wildflowers. If the forest didn’t die and fall and decay, there’s be no little baby trees, earthworms or mushrooms. And can you imagine a world without mushrooms?
So, when the grass is brown and the trees are bare, when the only color is the impossibly blue sky, I try to remind myself to be grateful for the resting of the Earth and try to remember to use this time to recharge myself.
Soon I’ll be able to transplant wood violets from deep in the woods to my flower bed. There will be dogwoods to admire, spring days to cherish. And not long after that, the long, hot days of summer that set the grasshoppers to buzzing and the dragonflies will launch aerial battles over the meadow.
The wild roses will bloom soon. And the phoebes will be nesting above my front door.
Maybe my fly rod will get the dust knocked off .. and there will be fireflies down by the pond.
As I get older I try to remember that each day is precious and one that I will never get back. And, as I get older, I realize that there are less new days in my future than there are days of memory streaming behind me. Life is so short and it’s so easy to get bogged down by the bad news on every front, the fear-mongering that we’re bombarded with daily. It becomes a real challenge to remember that we’re not in charge … but I know who is.
Never take for granted a single day – even the not-so-great ones. For somewhere there is someone who wishes they had more time. Someone who recognizes the value of a rainy day as an opportunity to stay inside wearing fuzzy socks. Someone who would give anything for more time with their loved ones.
All our days are measured. Make this one count.